Monday, July 05, 2010

DCUCC in Slovenia!

For the first time in several years, DCU Canoe Club officially went foreign. Steve Fahy, Andy Cahill, Joe Downes, Catherine Farmer, Orla Croarkin, Ger Gleeson, Steve Quinn, Emer O'Leary and Myself based ourself on the Soca in Slovenia for a week.

Myself, Steve and Mateja preparing to run the Slalom course

Our flight out was far from easy, with Ryanair insisting that we move our stuff around until each individual piece of luggage weighed an assigned amount (even though what we put on the plane ultimately weighed the exact same anyway.) Things got easier on arrived, where we picked up our rental cars and van, packed our stuff away with a lot more ease than on previous Alps trips and set of on the two and a half hour drive to Bovec. When we arrived seven hours later (some of that extra time was spent showing extraordinary restraint in Decathlon), we were able to pick up some rental boats for the week and set up camp in between the rain showers :(.

The River at our campsite

Our campside was nice, located right on the river it even had a covered drying rack so we could dry our gear even when it rained.

Lifesaver - our gear was dry all week!

Over the next few days we got several runs on many sections of the river. The levels were perfect for most of the week, aside from one day, where heavy rain caused the river to rise over a metre and double in volume! This meant that the river became much pushier and faster, much to the shock of some in the group! Nonetheless, the Soca is the perfect river for learning, it's safe and clean, with plenty in the way of features, with runs ranging from 1-4.

Myself, Steve and Mateja on the Slalom course

There is more to Slovenia than just kayaking however! As well as stunning scenery and other adventure sports (such as Canyoning, Biking and mountaineering) the Soca Valley was the location of 13 major WW1 battles as well as Battles from the Napoleonic wars. This all means that the place is full of history, so we visited some WW1 trenches after the river one day.

Slovenian Scenery!

World War One Trenches

Catherine mountain biking!

This was a fantastic trip in a perfect location and with luck the Soca valley will see DCUCC returning next year for another alpine adventure!